This is the nineteenth installment in the Coliseum Home Video series, which was the old VHS collection of the WWF. They put a series of eclectic matches from the time period.
Sean Mooney hosts the tape from Titan Towers.
Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs. “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig: This is from MSG with Rod Trongard and Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary. This is a prequel to their eventual feud in 1990 and is an older match, probably late 1988, because Hennig is in blue trunks. They lock up and Brutus establishes power tossing Hennig into the corner. Another lock up follows and Hennig pushes him so Beefcake pushes back. Hennig wrests him into a go-behind so Beefcake elbows him in the face. Bruti drives him down in a side headlock; Perfect eventually fires him off but eats a shoulderblock. Hennig drop-toeholds into a hammerlock but Beefcake quickly reverses it; Perfect utilizes a rope break. Perfect bluffs on a few tests of strength until they finally lock up and Hennig uses a boot to break the hold and chops Beefcake down. He tosses Beefcake into the buckles and hits a punch to the gut and then SCRATCHES THE BACK. Perfect applies a reverse chinlock; Beefcake stands up with Perfect on his back and tosses him over his shoulder, face first, into the top turnbuckle. Hennig recovers first and kicks away; Bruti comes back with chops until Perfect goes to the eyes. Hennig works the gut and lower back of Beefcake and then MOCKS THE SCISSORS TAUNT! Beefcake gets pissed and fires back with fisticuffs in the corner; an uppercut sends Perfect over the top with a patented Hennig oversell. Back in the ring, Hennig goes into the opposite buckle and the delayed atomic drop sends him face first into another buckle. Brutus is in control now and backdrops Hennig; high knee follows and Beefcake signals for the sleeper. A bald Ron Bass, whom Beefcake had been feuding with, runs out and messes with Beefcake’s scissors bag. Beefcake chases him and fights with him on the floor and gets counted out. 5.5/10 Hennig’s notorious hyper-selling made this match far more entertaining that it had any right to be. Once Beefcake got another year of seasoning under his belt for their actual feud the matches got much better.
Sean Mooney shows off the WWF Video Archives and annoys the employee there.
WWF Tag Team Championship Demolition vs. Powers of Pain (w/Mr. Fuji): From the Bradley Centre in Milwaukee Wisconsin with Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary. Demolition spent the entire part of their early title reign battling the Powers. The bell rings and Ax takes out the Barbarian but the Warlord works over Smash. He comes back with sledges to the face; Ax tags in and they double clothesline the Warlord. Ax applies a neck crank and yells at former mentor Mr. Fuji. Smash tags back in but misses a corner charge and Barbarian tags in and hits a big boot; he tries again but Smash catches the boot and sledges him down. Ax returns and they double sledge him down as well. Ax levels him with a shoulderblock and then knocks the Warlord off the apron; Mr. Fuji sneaks in a shot with his cane and then chokes Ax with it. The Barbarian distracts the referee allowing the Warlord and Fuji to double up on Ax on the floor. The Powers work over Ax in their corner and choke him. The Barbarian hits a shoulder breaker and applies a trapezius hold. Smash provides an accidental distraction and allows more double teams; Barbarian comes back and chops Ax to the floor. The match gets boring with the Powers on offense until Smash finally gets a tag and bodyslams everyone in sight. He clotheslines the Barbarian to the floor. Smash hits a Stungun but the Warlord breaks it up; Ax tries to help but is still tired and gets dispatched with. The Powers hit their bearhug/top rope clothesline tandem finisher but Ax breaks up the pinfall. Fuji hops up on the apron and Ax steals his cane and lays out the Powers with it right in front of the referee. Fuji tosses salt into Ax’s eyes and now the referee disqualifies the Powers of Pain? 1.5/10 A Boring match with terribly stupid ending as well.
Sean Mooney is outside the “office” of Jesse Ventura; he gets rebuffed as usual. His secretary hands him a note with “Mooney get lost” written on it.
Tony Garea vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura: This is from earlier than the tape’s release date, probably 1986, from MSG with Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary. Jesse takes forever removing all of his entrance attire and then complains about Garea’s clinched fists. Jesse sneaks a punch to the kidneys and really hurts Garea. He gets pissed so Ventura hides behind the referee and then retreats to the floor and stalls. They lock up again and he slaps Garea’s kidneys this time and it has much less effect. MIND GAMES! Jesse punches him in the kidneys again and Garea is getting angrier; so of course Garea punches Ventura in the kidneys. Garea arm wrenches him into an armbar and works it over. Ventura gets in an eye poke and then rakes Garea’s face across the top rope; Tony, playing possum, hotshots Ventura’s arm on the top rope. Jesse reverses a whip and tosses Garea into the ropes and he gets his neck entangled between the ropes; Ventura adds some pressure and chokes him. The referee takes forever freeing him; Ventura adds some additional choking, to the consternation of Gorilla and Alfred who fear for Tony’s life. Remember, this is 1986, despite the move still looking deadly; Mick Foley hadn’t gotten his ear ripped off or flown off a cell yet so this spot appears much tamer in 2012. He is finally freed and Ventura hits some European uppercuts and uses the boot-twist eye rake. Jesse blatantly chokes him across the top rope and then jerks him back into the ring for two. He gets some open hand palm shots on Garea’s chest; Ventura, despite his great look and vocal ability, was a very boring worker on offense. Garea ducks a reverse clothesline and hits an elbow forcing Jesse to beg off. Tony tosses him into the buckles and stomps on his face in retaliation. Garea goes for his signature abdominal stretch (I know, but it’s 1986, here!) but it is too close to the ropes and they both tumble to the apron. Garea recovers and slingshot sunset flips for two and then hits a crossbody for two. Jesse reverses a whip and tries a bodyslam; Garea counter go-behinds him and looks for a turnbuckle O’Connor roll, but Jesse ducks at the last second and Garea whiplashes himself against the top turnbuckle. Ventura drops an elbow and gets a three count. 2.5/10 Boring but it did showcase Ventura’s ability to tell a story in the ring and utilize his “smarts”. It was fun seeing Jesse use all of the illegal moves he boasted about during his many years as commentator.
Sean Mooney continues to annoy Titan Tower employees; he interrupts Kevin Dunn while they are putting together some WWF syndicated television shows. Dunn bitches that he and his crew haven’t eaten all day and have a lot of work to do. They do allow Mooney to play with the controls and he (of course) messes up the show they were working on.
WWF Heavyweight Championship “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Bad News Brown Harlem Street Fight: I assume this is a street fight because the competitors are wearing street clothes in lieu of tights and I assume it is a “Harlem” street fight because Bad News is in it; Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes are the broadcasters as Bad News attacks at the bell. Schiavone calls it a Harlem Street Fight as the match gets going so I called it well. Savage’s street clothes are a bit ridiculous although it is the eighties; Zubaz pants TUCKED into his yellow wrestling boots, a yellow weight belt and a black Gold’s Gym tank OVER his lavender Macho Man t-shirt. Bad News has a New York Mets shirt on, which is heel enough. They brawl on the floor where Savage gets a quick offensive flurry before Bad News head-butts him down. Brown grabs a chair and jabs Savage and then chokes him with it. Brown tosses Savage to the floor again and tosses him into the announce table; he goes after Liz on the floor and then goes back for Savage. He misses a punch and hits the post so Macho can take over. Back in the ring, Savage hits a double axe off the top and then whips him with the weight belt and chokes him with it. Macho Man grabs a chair and heads to the top but News catches him on the way down with a punch to the gut; Brown utilizes the chair and Savage rolls to the floor. Bad News pitches him to the ringside area and puts a folding table in the ring where he props it against the turnbuckles. Bad News tries to whip Savage into the table but it gets reverses, to compound the problem, the referee stands between the wrestlers and the table to try to prevent them from using the table in a street fight. Bad News goes into the referee and they both go through the table in the corner. That would be another EXTREME bump for 1989 but tame today. The referee is out; Bad News, completely ignoring the table spot, hits Savage with the Ghetto Blaster. Now, I see why Bret Hart complained about Bad News, he really never gives the babyface any comeback chance at all during his matches. Of course there is no referee to count sure the pinfall for Brown; he angrily kicks the referee trying to revive him. Brown plants Savage with a slam for a pin but the referee collapses again. Savage has been selling the Ghetto Blaster for about three minutes now; Savage sneaks in a backslide and now a second referee runs in to count three. Post-match, an angry Bad News kicks Savage to the floor and kicks at the original referee. The second referee tries to stop him and gets beaten as well. Bad News ties the second referee to the Tree of Woe and stomps on him. Savage returns and tries to chase Brown away but Bad News still won’t let him get over and stomps and chokes Savage. A third referee runs in and gets taken out by Brown. Finally Paul Roma, the Red Rooster, Ronnie Garvin, Danny Davis (still a wrestler), Greg Valentine and Iron Mike Sharpe run in to try to separate them. Brown is pulled to the floor by the heels but Savage topés out onto them; Brown finally retreats to the back. 7/10 Good predecessor to the eventual hardcore match, despite Brown giving Savage, the WWF Champion, absolutely no respect in the ring; Bret Hart complained about it in his highly entertaining book Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling (available for purchase by clicking here) that Brown gave none of his opponents in the ring any respect and never gave them comeback chances or no-sold a lot of offense making their comebacks seem futile; plus he never jobbed. Probably why he never got the big push he says he was promised and felt he deserved.
Sean Mooney continues to annoy the WWF production crew.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan & Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. André the Giant & “Ravishing” Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan): This match is from a WWF Wrestling Challenge taping with Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary. Jake’s tights are very Luchadore-esque; half black and half white with the opposite colored snake on each leg. André chokes Duggan at the bell; not sure when this match takes place, it may have even been before the Rude/Roberts battle over Cheryl Roberts’ honor storyline and just a post WrestleMania IV follow-up match. Rude tags in and the heels double up on Duggan; Rude misses a second-rope fist drop and Roberts gets a tag and the fan go crazy. Jake punches Rude away and then fends off the Giant and manages to entangle him in the ropes. Roberts pulverizes Rude with the Giant out of commission. The babyfaces ram Rude into André a few times. Heenan frees André as Jake gutbusters Rude. The Giant angrily wanders in and head-butts Jake to give Rude the advantage; he seizes that advantage… with a chinlock. Oh, but he tags in André… to choke Jake. Okay, why did the WWF think this would make a good match for WrestleMania V? Remember, I said match not storyline. André gets his front chancery/choke with singlet strap move; Rude tags and applies another thrilling chinlock. Boy, did Rude EVER improve, in the ring, from 1988 to 1989! Referee Jack Kruger checks Jake’s arm, loudly. Rude heads to the top but Duggan shakes the ropes crotching Rude; André lumbers in and rams Roberts into the buckle to make the tag race more fair. The Giant tags and cuts off the reciprocating tag; André misses his corner butt splash and Duggan finally tags, granted it was merely a three minute heat segment but it felt like three hours. Duggan pummels the Giant in the corner and hits some shoulderblocks; André gets one shot in and floors Duggan to allow a tag to Rude. Duggan is in trouble now, he fights back but an eye rake keeps Duggan at bay. Rude tosses Duggan into André’s head; shortly thereafter, Duggan begins to comeback and a double KO ensues. Rude wanders into the wrong corner and eats a fist from Jake. André snatches Duggan but still manages a tag to Roberts. Rude begs off but Roberts punches him in the face and follows up with a short-clothesline. André breaks up the DDT and the match breaks down; André knocks Duggan to the floor as Rude goes for the Rude Awakening on Jake. Duggan sneaks back in while the referee is with the Giant and waffles Rude with the 2×4; Jake falls atop him and gets a three count. 3/10 Good hot ending but that does not excuse the first five to eight minutes of Rude and André offense tedium.
Sean Mooney talks to Larry Rosen the soundboard master in the WWF. Mooney accidentally raises the volume too loud on the soundboard and knocks Rosen out of his chair.
The entire Million Dollar Championship Belt creation sequence is shown. Ted Dibiase heads to Betteridge Jewelers in Greenwich Connecticut to have them make it. Dibiase asks them to design the belt. Dibiase returns a few weeks later as the jewelers are working with the diamonds and gold; Dibiase wants more, more, more! The best part is when he returns to pick up the completed belt. He has a cape on and looks like Dracula. His over-the-top reaction to the completed product is fantastic. This was his “consolation” prize for getting politicked out of the WWF title in 1988 by the combination of Hulk Hogan and the Honky Tonk Man. We conclude at the Brother Love Show where Dibiase debuts the Million Dollar belt. Dibiase bitches about having the title he bought from André the Giant, back at the Main Event in February 1988, taken from him. Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are rather impressed; Brother Love oversells the belt. 5/10 This is a cool piece of WWF history to have on tape.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Ted Dibiase (w/Virgil): This is from a WWF Wrestling Challenge taping with Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes. Here is another (stalled) singles push for Bret; let’s see… one in ’88, one in ’89, there would have been one in ’90 if not for the infamous broken rope match with the Rockers forcing a long title reign for the Hart Foundation, it finally went off in ’91 and we all know how well that went. Virgil corrects ring announcer Mike McGuirk and demands Dibiase be announced as the “Million Dollar Champion”. Bret attacks at the bell and pummels Dibiase and hits a Russian leg sweep for two. Dibiase misses a wild swing and gets atomic dropped; Ted takes a powder with Virgil. Dibiase finally reenters and Bret gets an O’Connor roll, countered by Dibiase, he gloats a little too long, so Bret entangles him in an inside cradle for two. Dibiase retreats to the floor again. Bret slingshots Dibiase back in the ring over the top; he head-butts him into an André the Giant rope tangle spot. Bret tries to capitalize with a vertical splash against the ropes but referee Tim White frees Dibiase just in time and Bret crotches himself between the ropes. Bret rolls to the floor for a breather but it is close to Virgil; Tim White is rather vehement on counting Hart out and ignores Dibiase’s attempt to distract him. Unique. Bret gets back into the ring right into a Dibiase choke fest. He maintains control tossing Bret into the buckles and clotheslining him; Dibiase actually lands his second-rope axe handle and Million Dollar fists follow. A nice vertical suplex nets a two count; Bret counters another with a snap-suplex. They fight from their knees and Dibiase gets an eye gouge and completes a back suplex for another two. Dibiase tosses Bret into a few buckles and then gives him a backbreaker but Bret keeps kicking out. Hart sneaks in pair of inside cradles for two counts; Ted tosses Bret to the floor. He goes out after him this time and rams him into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Dibiase drops a Million Dollar fist drop and snags a chinlock. Bret gets to his feet and twists him up into a top wristlock; Virgil distracts the referee allowing Dibiase to pull Bret back down into the chinlock, by the hair. Bret tries a comeback so Virgil hops up on the apron allowing Dibiase to choke Bret back down. Dibiase tries a pinfall but fails so he stomps on Bret’s back; they double clothesline each other. Dibiase recovers first and heads to the top but Hart plays possum and Flairs him off the turnbuckle. They exchange blows in the corner and Bret gets the advantage by blocking Dibiase’s shots. Bret is fired up and points at Dibiase; he pummels him in the corner and hits a driving elbow drop and a pendulum backbreaker for two. Bret misses a knee in the corner and Dibiase takes over again. What a battle between these two! Dibiase uses a spinning toehold but Bret counters and boots him over the top and then pescados out onto him. They fight on the floor and both get counted out. Post-match, Bret goes after Virgil but Dibiase tries to catch him from behind but Bret makes his own save. 8/10 Great match, goofy ending aside, I enjoyed it; these two technicians can wrestle a good match for hours. I get the ending; Dibiase still has some residue 1988 heat on him but the WWF does not want him to lose it and Bret was primed (at the time) for a big push so they needed to protect him as well.
Sean Mooney continues to annoy at Titan Towers so they lock him in a set storage room to get rid of him and that’s how the tape ends.
OVERALL 5.5/10 This is a mixed bag tape; there was a really good match, a few good to average matches and some painful stuff. The Bret/Dibiase and Macho/Bad News matches are good enough to push it just a wee bit above average; those are the two matches you should try to check out.